By Nathan Grayson on January 18th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.
That’s StarCraft II, mind you. Otherwise, I think that’d be a dequel, and I’m not sure anyone actually wants one of those. But yes, WarCraft: A New Dawn is picking up the severed orc hand of maximum strategy Blizzard dropped after WoW exploded. As of now, it’s very much a work-in-progress, but the end goal is to craftily craft StarCraft into “a breathtaking, lore-abiding storyline spanning several emotionally-gripping campaigns containing new units, new heroes, and new features as well as a fully fledged melee mode.” Lofty goals, huh? Maybe even too lofty. The team’s released their first video, though, so you can judge for yourself.
Hooray, a Blademaster! That always was my favorite Warcraft III hero. The buildings look quite nice as well – or at least, the ones that aren’t holdover Protoss structures do. Meanwhile, A New Dawn’s website makes it clear that War III’s definitely its primary influence, with the bulk of units, heroes, and structures either heralding straight from the strategy titan or elaborating on aspects of it. Promisingly, Alliance and Horde unit selections and tech trees are already in place, and the deviations from War III seem cautious (so as not to steamroll balance) but interesting. Goblins, for instance, have gotten all snugly with the Horde, so they’ll be lending some more of their trademark tinker toys to the war effort – including a new hero.
From the looks of things, the absurdly ambitious mod’s been in some form of development for quite a while now, beginning with a 2010 project known as WarCraft IV: The Legacy of the Damned. However, that got scrapped in the middle of 2011, and a new team rose from its ashes to develop A New Dawn. Hopefully this project doesn’t also go the way of Grom Hellscream, because it’ll be tough finding a more convincingly hopeful name than “A New Dawn” for another reinvention.
Naturally, I’m doubtful of this one’s chances, but crossing my rust-worn RTS finger bones nonetheless. The Warcraft RTSes were my gamerly bread and butter growing up, so I miss them like childhood. And until Blizzard indicates another’s on the way, I’m totally willing to put some faith in a fan project that refuses to die. It’s certainly better than nothing. We’ll see, though. I’ll be keeping an eye on it, if nothing else.